I.

 

The mere mention of it
Is enough to evoke
An intertwined and raw emotion
Championed by excruciating pain and fear
Knees tremble
And, legs shut close
In pursuit of protecting
That which has already been lost

Often she wonders, if the sleep
Of the woman who performed the practice
Is haunted by the piercing cries of
The young girls she mutilated years ago
Do the hands of the women
Who pinned her
Arms and legs down
Cry in regret and remorse?

II.

She was once told by a French doctor
Through his English translator
In a room filled with Americans
That genital mutilation was Africa’s and Islam’s crime
Against its women
He said, and I quote
“There is something incredibly sad
In the eyes of a woman who went through FGM”
He went on to portray African women
As weak objects and in desperate need of white saviors
He said we were so damaged and paralyzed that he
Could just take a glance and know
A mutilated woman from the crowd
He said, and again, I quote
“Lucky women, like you, ought to fight against this practice”
I looked at him as I said
That this lucky woman is mutilated
But not damaged nor paralyzed
Just angry and hurt that this practice still continues
To haunt baby girls in and out of Africa
Mutilated women, contrary to popular belief,
Are not just Africans or Muslims
And, I ensured him, if anything
His racist, sexist and Islamophobic ideologies
Were not lost in translation

by Halima Ahmed

Photo credit: Profil Painting by Gonda Zoltán